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Bridge Stud Conversion


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hello everyone,

I have an epi joe perry and the bridge just crapped out, so now the only song i can play is paint it black with this sitar!! Needless to say, this bridge has to go and i do have a really nice nashville tune-o-matic sitting around however its posts are too small for the large korean bushings. Apparently they used to sell conversion bushings for this type of thing, but they don't anymore. So i have come here to do-it-myself, does anyone have any instruction of what to do? Is it possible to have a conversion bushing machined at a shop?

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hello everyone,

I have an epi joe perry and the bridge just crapped out, so now the only song i can play is paint it black with this sitar!! Needless to say, this bridge has to go and i do have a really nice nashville tune-o-matic sitting around however its posts are too small for the large korean bushings. Apparently they used to sell conversion bushings for this type of thing, but they don't anymore. So i have come here to do-it-myself, does anyone have any instruction of what to do? Is it possible to have a conversion bushing machined at a shop?

Maybe some Nashville ABR1 conversions would work?

link

Just a thought?

MK

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thx for the reply, i was looking into those but i don't think they'd work because from what i understand the korean bridges have larger studs than nashville bridges and the abr-1 are the smallest. So those nashville studs are still too small. I know you guys have lots of woodworking experience(i have none) could i remove the large studs, fill the hole with some kind of strong wood, then drill nashville sized holes into that? The only thing is I have no woodworking experience whatsoever so i would need someone to sort've walk me through how to do something like this.

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I see what you mean about lots of posts on removing stud bushings. Seems simple enough, inserting a snug fitting dowel with a little wood glue seems simple too. It's the drilling for the new nashville stud, that's where i'm lost. That hole has to be perfectly straight can that be done by hand? When I put in the new stud should there be some wood glue on that too?

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If you don't have a drill press, you may find it difficult to drill a perfectly straight hole. The new bushings should fit tightly enough w/o glue + glue could do nasty things if you ever tried to change bridges again (unless you like using a soldering iron really close to your finish :D )

Some drills have little level bubbles on them, but again, it may be worth the $40 at Sears to get a "press" that holds a standard drill. The rest, like you say, is pretty easy.

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Hold on...let's take a step back here and figure out what's really going on.

What do you mean, the bridge 'crapped out'? I find it unlikely that the bridge would break, unless you've been pounding on the guitar. At the worst, you'd have to replace the saddles -- sounds to me like you've worn out the slots, that's all. It will be easy to find replacement saddles for that bridge.

Second, the Epi is an Asian-built guitar. I find it hard to believe that the studs are some other kind of specification --they really should be standard issue, and available everywhere.

I think it's entirely unneccessary to take a risk at destroying the guitar (since it sounds like you have neither the tools nor the experience to do the job) just because you happen to have a different bridge on hand. You can find an entire replacement bridge for 10 bucks on ebay!

This guitar doesn't appear to be made anymore. Chances are it will acquire a certain value over time, at least from diehard Aerosmith fans. Makes more sense to leave it stock.

But I'm guessing a simple saddle change is all that needed. I like Graphtech saddles a lot.

And jeez people: when you see a post from someone who obviously is inexperienced at this, DO NOT ENCOURAGE HIM to attack his guitar with tools. I mean, at least, you can take a moment to help him figure out what the REAL problem is.

You wouldn't go cutting out your colon just because beans give you gas, would you?

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While I agree w/ Mick in principle (meaning how does a bridge crap out? did it split?, but who am I to judge) - if someone has resolved to make a change - let it go. Perhaps I should have requested a sound bite from this guitar so we could all contribute suggested diagnoses?

I dare say that with all but the full time luthiers, questions will arise frequently. I have developed software for 15 years and still ask questions. Are you implying I wouldn't have the experience or skill do complete the program? B)

In hindsight, the scar on my mid-section has bothered me more than the gas ever did :D :D

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While I agree w/ Mick in principle (meaning how does a bridge crap out? did it split?, but who am I to judge) - if someone has resolved to make a change - let it go. Perhaps I should have requested a sound bite from this guitar so we could all contribute suggested diagnoses?

Kp, don't take it personally, this isn't directed at you, this type of thing comes up pretty often, where a new guy drops in all hot n' bothered because he thinks there's something wrong with the guitar -- usually he hasn't asked the proper question, and often doesn't know enough to ask.

Of course, no one says that we have to hold people's hands when they come here. But still.

In this case, the guy's resolve is based on what is more than likely a false premise. So sure, I could let it go and let him butcher his guitar, but I see no reason to do so.

Now there are other types of mods people want to do to their guitar where I am forced to bite my tongue (or my typing fingers) and just let him get on with making a muck of things. Like changing for gold-colored hardware. :D

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I guess I came off a little hot n' bothered for mickguards tastes? I'll elaborate on the "crapping out" of the bridge: When I bought the guitar the B string was rattling. I couldn't hear the sound when played through an amp so I didn't care, the guitar played great and the sound coming from the burstbuckers was nice. But now the A, G and B strings sound like a sitar and I can hear it through my amp. Epiphones are known for having bad bridges and apparently it's one of the best upgrades you could do to it tonewise. So I figured why not replace it?

I have all summer here, I have a 50$ quality nashville bridge, I have a grandfather with a shop full of tools and a lifetime of woodworking experience(not on guitars though) and I want to do a little work on my guitar. I'll save money and resale value isn't important because I keep all of my guitars, still have my first 199$ hunk. How many times do you hear someone say "I wish I hadn't sold that guitar...". Besides this is something that can be approached without jepordizing my guitar. I'll pre-drill the dowels before I even glue them in so I can get it just right. My grandfather also suggested cutting 2 grooves lengthwise of the dowels to let pressure and excess glue escape.

You guys have been a great help, if you want I can post pics of the finished project?

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I guess I came off a little hot n' bothered for mickguards tastes? I'll elaborate on the "crapping out" of the bridge: When I bought the guitar the B string was rattling. I couldn't hear the sound when played through an amp so I didn't care, the guitar played great and the sound coming from the burstbuckers was nice. But now the A, G and B strings sound like a sitar and I can hear it through my amp. Epiphones are known for having bad bridges and apparently it's one of the best upgrades you could do to it tonewise. So I figured why not replace it?

I have all summer here, I have a 50$ quality nashville bridge, I have a grandfather with a shop full of tools and a lifetime of woodworking experience(not on guitars though) and I want to do a little work on my guitar. I'll save money and resale value isn't important because I keep all of my guitars, still have my first 199$ hunk. How many times do you hear someone say "I wish I hadn't sold that guitar...". Besides this is something that can be approached without jepordizing my guitar. I'll pre-drill the dowels before I even glue them in so I can get it just right. My grandfather also suggested cutting 2 grooves lengthwise of the dowels to let pressure and excess glue escape.

You guys have been a great help, if you want I can post pics of the finished project?

That's all good stuff, but you can get a Gotoh tonepros bridge that will fit the spacing you have.

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Riffraff,

I don't think Mickgaurd was singling you out or even jumping on you. I think he was addressing a broader issue.

There are some of us that are on these forums who do guitar work and building for a living. I have supported myself for 30 years now with this craft.

There are people with all different skill levels, ages, and backgrounds on this forum and others. Forums are a great way to exchange info, and are a great educational platform.

I learn new things every day, and I also teach others every day.

What will tend to happen though on any forum, is the blind leading the blind sometimes.

Also, it is very easy to give advice. Behind a keyboard, it is easy to be an expert, it is easy for a broke slob to be handsome and rich, it is easy for a female to be desirable even if in real life you would run if you saw her.

Over the years I have had some apprentices, and it takes time for them to build up the basics and skills to do guitars. It don't come overnight. It certainly does not come from reading a few posts on a subject. Hands on experience is what brings about skill

On a forum, the general rule of thumb is if someone asks how............they do not know. I have heard of many guitars being ruined from forum advice.

Not because the advice was bad, but because it was too steep of a learning curve for the person attempting the project.

I'd hate to see someone ruin their instrument because others were advising and cheering the newcomer on.

I think Mickgaurd was just trying to save you some possible agony.

Roman

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I understand that the last thing you want is for someone to muck up their own instrument.

This is way off topic btw but since you mentioned building guitars and repairing them for a living this is a good time to ask. I'm 18 so I basically have to decide what I want to do with the rest of my life this summer and so far it looks like i'm going to university for business. But I always wanted to do something with guitars for a living. How long does it take to get to a point where you can build/repair guitars for a living? You obviously have to be an expert before you can start working on other peoples instruments so what does it take to get to that point? Is it a good living? I've given resumes to my local guitar shop but they never call me back. Any advice anyone can give on this career is greatly appreciated.

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guess I came off a little hot n' bothered for mickguards tastes?

Nope. You came off as an 18-year-old kid. Don't make it worse by being a smartass.

It's the guys jumping in with advice without first bothering to get any details that struck me as wrong. Especially when that advice is going to cause an irreversible mod to the guitar.

Anyway...

From you're description, I'm thinking that the bridge might not be causing your problem. There are plenty of other reasons why the strings would start buzzing like that, and since the guitar isn't that old, I'm willing to bet it's neither the bridge, nor the saddles.

What seems more likely to me is that the neck shifted and needs an adjustment. Another possibility, that there's not enough downward pressure on the saddles, that is, the tailpiece needs to be tightened down. Or the nuts slots have gotten too large. Or the neck has developed a hump. It's still possible the saddles notches are worn too. Or a combination of these things.

See, this is why I'm suggesting you hold off on any surgery until you've figured out the real cause of the problems. Most of the issues I've mentioned can be tested without resorting to any permanent alteration to the guitar. Just because you've read about problems with Epiphone bridges doesn't mean that they're true (most of the problems I've seen deal with the (ply)wood failing around the studs, not the bridge itself). Hell, the bridge is just a few pieces of metal screwed together, they've been manufactured like that for 60 years.

Besides, if you're seriously tempted by work as a guitar builder/repairer, then learning how to diagnose and correct this guitar's problem will be good experience. A lot better than just whacking it with a drill.

Oh, last thing before I wash my hands of this: just because someone has woodworking experience doesn't mean that will translate to guitars. In fact, from my experience, older woodworking guys have their own ways of doing things, which may work great when they're slapping together a cabinet, but will completely screw up your guitar is you let them have a go at it.

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How many times do you hear someone say "I wish I hadn't sold that guitar...". Besides this is something that can be approached without jepordizing my guitar.

How many times do I think to myself : " Damn, when I was in my late teens/ early 20's, why didn't I resist the *urge* to do some of those mods and "repairs" on some of my guitars ? ". Or , " why did I think *that* was what was wrong with that guitar ?".

Too many times to count !

Certainly right up there with those "why did I sell that guitar" regrets.

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